Sell That Ye Have And Give To THE POOR
By David J. Stewart | February 2014
Luke 12:33, “Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.”
Notice carefully that Jesus didn't say, “Sell that ye have and give tithes to the church.” The Greek word for “alms” in Luke 12:33 is eleēmosunē meaning “compassionateness, that is, (as exercised towards the poor) beneficence, or (concretely) a benefaction.” The word benefaction means “an act intending or showing kindness and good will.” Jesus is teaching that the way to “LAY UP TREASURES FOR YOURSELVES IN HEAVEN” (Matthew 6:19-20) is by giving to the poor...
Matthew 6:19-20, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.”
The context of the preceding Scriptures in Matthew 6:19-20 is important, because it tells us how to fulfill what Jesus is teaching in verses 19-20. The Lord teaches about giving alms in Matthew 6:1-4. He teaches about prayer in Matthew 6:5-15. And He teaches about fasting in Matthew 6:16-18. No mention is made about tithing to the church or attending church.
Now, please don't misunderstand, we ought to tithe to the local New Testament Church that we attend (and every believer ought to go to church). The Church is our family in the Lord. Ephesians 3:14-15, “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named.” I love that passage of Scripture.
“You know the difference in the First Baptist Church of Hammond and most other churches in this area. Huh? We've got more than a welcome sign out in front, we've got a welcome sign on the front door of all the people. We go where they are!” —Pastor Jack Hyles (1926-2001), from the timeless MP3 sermon, The Pearl Of Great Price.
Most churches ought to hang out a sign out that reads, “US FOUR AND NO MORE,” because that's the way they behave sad to say. I've seen quite a few churches that had solid door, high windows, resembling more of an impenetrable fortress than a New Testament Church. The Jehovah's Witnesses religious cult is notorious for their sealed up, cultish looking, secluded buildings. What are they hiding? Is that all intended to keep people out, or from escaping?
Biblical churches ought to be friendly, transparent to the local community, upfront with nothing to hide. Even our Lord testified in John 18:20, “Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing.” What a contrast from the secretive religious cults of Mormonism, Freemasonry and Scientology!!! God has nothing to hide and neither should we as Christian believers. Christianity has no dark secrets, no occult initiations nor private ceremonies! Only evil must be secretive under cover of darkness. The best way to expose the darkness is to shine the light! Amen! Psalms 119:105, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”
I didn't write this article to debate the Biblical principle of tithing. We are supposed to tithe. Personally, I don't believe that it is right to browbeat a church congregation continually to give 10% or else face the wrath of God. If a pastor knows how to disciple his people, then they will want to give. Listen to this awesome MP3 sermon by Pastor Jack Hyles. If you can listen to this sermon and not desire to give God all that you can and work as hard as you can for eternity, then you need to get your heart checked out my friend, because something is very wrong. IMPERFECT PEOPLE IN HEAVEN (we owe it to those gone before us into Heaven to continue their work for Christ).
I want to give to the Lord's work. I am a strong supporter though of responsible giving. I see so many people sending money to dead ministries, paying for some fat-cat minister's fancy car, luxurious mansion and extravagant lifestyle. A servant (which is what the word “minister” means) should set an example by leading in modest living. No gospel preacher ought to get paid a 6-digit salary. God deliver us from the Creflo Dollars who live in $5,000,000 mansions. Jesus said in Luke 12:33 to “SELL THAT YE HAVE, AND GIVE ALMS” to the poor. You see, back in New Testament times there were no Communist social programs like we have in America today, forcefully taking from the wealthy to give to the poor. The Church took care of the poor, if they were indeed poor.
Since most churches DON'T care about the poor and the money instead goes into the preacher's pocket, we're in a whole different ballgame today than in ancient times. I would NEVER support any ministry where the top dog gets pain a 6-digit salary, and that includes the Salvation Army, who pays their CEO $175,000 a year the last time I checked. In fairness, the Salvation Army actually isn't nearly as bad as most other big charities. The average big charity pays in excess of $300,000 a year to their CEO (United Way and Red Cross pay over $600,000 a year to their CEO's). That doesn't include the wife, family, friends and associates that many of them hire to boost their salaries. I get sick as I research how much these so-called “charities” pay their administrators, when faithful gospel preachers around the world live on poverty wages with a grateful heart of faith in the Lord.
Biblically, all men must one day give account for every dollar (Luke 12:21), every word (Matthew 12:36), every thought (Proverbs 24:12) and every deed (Ecclesiastes 12:14) before God. Big charities often call vacations “business meetings” and travel at the organization's expense. They drive the ministry's car, saving the cost of paying for their own vehicle and gas. And of course, everything bought for the ministry is tax-exempt under a 501c3 umbrella of a state-licensed non-profit organization. What a joke... non-profit!
How many of us have ever actually SOLD some of our possessions in order to give to the poor, homeless and needy? I am not saying that we shouldn't tithe, God forbid. I am simply pointing out that when Jesus spoke about laying up treasures for ourselves in Heaven, that He was speaking about giving alms to the poor, fasting and praying. I want you to get the idea out of your head that God is going to reward you for making some preacher(s) rich, like Ken Ham's false teachings that dinosaurs roamed the earth 4,000 years ago. Don't be dumb, we're trying to have a youth rally! Sorry, I couldn't help myself from saying that, I heard Brother Danny Castle once say that during a youth revival and and I loved it. Ken Ham takes in about $20,000,000 a year from promoting the heresy of a young earth. A lot of intelligent people reject Christianity on the basis of false science like a young earth theory. The Bible plainly teaches an old earth, but a young human race.
I'm going to wrap up this article by encouraging you to give wisely, to churches and ministries that are King James Bible only, and that aggressively put forth effort to get lost sinners saved by preaching the gospel, and that genuinely help the poor. Joel Osteen says a lot of really great things, while his tens-of-millions of listeners go to Hell unwarned. 1st Corinthians 9:16, “...woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!” Again, Jesus said to GIVE TO THE POOR. That means directly or indirectly, if the money is actually going to THE POOR. It is appalling that so many ministries and charities that appeal to the public to give 50 cents a day, or $19 a month, to rescue a starving child's life, pay themselves $275,000 a year!!! It should be illegal, but it's a legal scam in America, just like so many other things these days that are as crooked as a dog's hind leg!!! Most charity CEO's are so crooked that they'll have to be screwed into the ground when they die.
Debt Leveraging For An Eternal Lifestyle (money and things test where our affections rest)
And remember from the lesson of the widow in the Bible who gave her last two mites (everything she owned), you are only as generous as what you keep, not what you give.
Galatians 2:10,“...Remember The Poor...” (Pastor Danny Castle)